WH-Clauses In English: Aspects of Theory and Description. by Joe Trotta

By Joe Trotta

This examine presents the 1st description-oriented, theoretically-unaligned account of wh-clauses in glossy English. the writer employs a data-based method of research facets of either generative and non-generative paintings as regards their relative strengths and weaknesses.Wh-clauses in English: points of thought and outline is a special mixture of statistical findings and qualitative research. it's not basically underpinned via a scientific research of the Brown college corpus but additionally contains attested fabric from different assets akin to the British nationwide Corpus, the CobuildDirect corpus in addition to fabric gleaned from the internet.The qualitative and quantitative analyses are mixed to technique a variety of theoretical and descriptive matters, resembling wh-movement, landing-sites for moved wh-XPs, vacuous circulate, island constraints, between others. now not insignificantly, many questions of indeterminacy are addressed, corresponding to the interface of conjunctions and relative phrases, the issues of demarcation among interrogatives and unfastened family in addition to structural ambiguities among interrogatives and exclamatives.

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For a special study of while as a relative adverb, see Trotta & Seppänen (1998). 34 Wh-clauses in English: Aspects of Theory and Description · Conjunctions Any clause introduced by a wh-word which functions as a conjunction is not considered a wh-clause in this study – these items not only do not have the realized WH-feature (criterion (i)), but they also have no syntactic function in their clause (ii) and do not contain a gap (iii). 1 for a detailed discussion. In the same manner that conjunctions do not show the realized WHfeature, neither does the single-word conjunct however (36a), which has also been excluded from the study.

The target chart quickly and briefly tells you which additives do what. (BUC E27:2) b. When the automobile was in its embryonic stage, such roads as existed were pretty much open roads with the tacit understanding that horses should not be unduly terrified being about the only rule governing where, when and how fast a car could go. (BUC E06:52) c. How far and in what fashion did it modify the new nation which was emerging in the midst of the forces shaping the revolutionary age? (BUC D14:2) The sentences in (30) illustrate so-called multiple wh-items, ie sentences in which more than one element is realized as a wh-form.

Though the categories of interrogative, exclamative and declarative are mutually exclusive, this by no means entails a lack of indeterminate clause types. There are subtle shifts in meaning and grammar which can make it difficult to distinguish between interrogatives and exclamatives; interrogatives and free relatives; and free relatives and bound relatives. Compare, for example the structural similarities in these relatively straightforward cases: (32) Do you know [what concessions I had to make]?

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